Coronavirus support for Sandwell businesses: grants, relief and finance

It goes without saying that this unprecedented time is having a profound impact on businesses. Please know Sandwell Council is working hard to support you wherever and however possible. Do see also our page of general business information to help you emerge from the pandemic.

This page was last updated on Wednesday 3 March.

Grants and finance for Sandwell businesses

>Go to coronavirus support for Sandwell businesses

Sandwell Council support

The grant funds listed below (administered by Sandwell Council) are to support businesses affected by national lockdown or local Covid-19 restrictions. Because the UK has now experienced three national lockdowns and Sandwell has at varying times been subjected to Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4 restrictions, we realise the information is complex.

See also Sandwell Council’s coronavirus grants page for the latest information.

Please note that the link to apply for any of these grants takes you to to make your application to Sandwell Council.

Local Restriction Support Grant (Closed) Addendum
* For businesses that were required to close between 31 December 2020 and 4 January 2021 when Sandwell was subject to Tier 4 restrictions.
NEW: For businesses that are closed during the current national lockdown (which started on 5 January 2021).
Apply to Sandwell Council via Grant Approval.

NEW Closed Business Lockdown Payment
A grant of between £4,000 and £9,000 may be available to businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors which are closed due to lockdown restrictions.
Apply to Sandwell Council via Grant Approval.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (for ratepayers and businesses receiving rate relief only).
Please apply if your ratepayer business:
* Was forced to close during the second national lockdown (5 November to 2 December 2020).
Apply to Sandwell Council via Grant Approval.

Additional Restrictions Grant
There are two categories for the Additional Restrictions Grant:
a) For businesses which are non-ratepayers and not in receipt of rate relief
b) For businesses which are ratepayers adversely affected by national restrictions (such as supply chain businesses) but are excluded from the other categories of grants.
Please apply if your business is in one of the categories above and has been closed or adversely affected by national restrictions.
Apply to Sandwell Council via Grant Approval.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (sector specific)
For businesses such as nightclubs that have been required to close due to national restrictions since 23 March.
Apply to Sandwell Council via Grant Approval.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (open businesses)

For businesses that were open during, but severely affected by, Tier 2 local restrictions (which Sandwell was under from 14 October to 4 November).
Apply to Sandwell Council via Grant Approval.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed businesses)
For businesses required to close during the period of Tier 3 local restrictions (3 December to 30 December 2020).
Apply to Sandwell Council via Grant Approval.

Government support

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (also known as the furlough scheme)
The Chancellor announced in his Budget on Wednesday 3 March that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended until the end of September, with employees receiving 80 per cent of their current salary for hours not worked. This is known as being furloughed. Employers will be asked to contribute 10 per cent in July and 20 per cent in August and September.

You can sign up for a webinar from HMRC: ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’. Various dates are available.

Job Support Scheme – postponed
When the furlough scheme ends, the Job Support Scheme is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses that are facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19. You can read about the Job Support Scheme here.

More support for self-employed workers
We will update this section when we know more about the extra support for self-employed workers, as announced in the Chancellor’s Budget on Wednesday 3 March.

The Covid-19 government guidance for employers and businesses includes advice about short-term business rates relief and the package of government support available to businesses.

The government has a coronavirus financial support finder to help you see what loans, tax relief and grants might be available to your business.

Watch videos and register for the free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus.

Getting information on financial support

On Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce’s homepage, you can click on the blue button at the top right (‘COVID-19 support grid’) and access a chart showing government support for businesses and charities.

The Black Country Chamber of Commerce has a Chamber Finance Finder to help you discover the right funding solutions across loans, equity and grants during the Covid-19 crisis.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
Small businesses (fewer than 250 employees) can claim back the cost of providing Statutory Sick Pay (for up to 14 days) to any employee due to coronavirus.

HM Revenue & Customs is holding webinars on the SSP Rebate Scheme, giving employers an overview of the scheme: register for a time that suits you here.

Deferring VAT and income tax payments
The government is providing support around deferring VAT and income tax payments. If you can’t pay your business tax bill due to coronavirus you can reach the HMRC Coronavirus Helpline for free on 0800 0159 559. The line is open on Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and on Saturday from 8am to 4pm.
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Government-backed funding

Covid-19 Small Business Grants
These grants are to help SMEs adapt and recover after the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. They are administered by the Black Country Growth Hub alongside the City of Wolverhampton Council and the money is a 100 per cent government grant.
To be eligible, businesses must have:
– fewer than 250 employees
– annual turnover of less than 50 million Euros
– a balance sheet less than 43 million Euros
– a trading history of at least one year
– a business trading address in the Black Country
Businesses will receive between £1,000 and £3,000, and in exceptional circumstances only, up to £5,000.

Round 1 of the programme is now closed, after receiving the maximum number of applications. To find out when round 2 will open, sign up to the newsletter. For more information about the programme, visit the website.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans and Future Fund
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans (CBILS) and Future Fund are available through participating lenders, delivered through British Business Bank. Here are the answers to SMEs’ frequently asked questions.

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) is for medium-sized and larger businesses (group turnover of more than £45m) affected by the coronavirus outbreak – again, you can find out how to apply through British Business Bank.

Please be aware that from Thursday 30 July 2020, the classifications of businesses in difficulty changed: 
Learn about the criteria changes

Bounce Back Loans
Through the government-backed Bounce Back Loans scheme small businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 at an interest rate of 2.5 per cent, with the government covering interest payable in the first year. British Business Bank lists the accredited lenders.

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Funding support

Audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe UK has a comprehensive page of advice to help businesses manage the impact of coronavirus, with webinars planned to share knowledge and support.

See the latest COVID-19 funding support flowchart from Crowe UK.

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Other funding

Please note that Think Sandwell and Sandwell Council cannot endorse or approve any of the links below; we are just sharing the information in case it is helpful to you.

Suited to B2C businesses, Crowdfunder‘s Pay It Forward scheme allows you to sell products and services now to be delivered once the crisis is over.
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